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Explore Breckland from your own home with new virtual reality app- voiced by Stephen Fry

PUBLISHED: 08:28 12 February 2019 | UPDATED: 14:42 12 February 2019

Leader of Breckland, William Nunn, with Ryan Baxter, inventor of Breckworld and developer. Picture: Keith Mindham

Leader of Breckland, William Nunn, with Ryan Baxter, inventor of Breckworld and developer. Picture: Keith Mindham

Keith Mindham

A tourism app voiced by Stephen Fry which allows people to virtually explore some of Norfolk’s towns and attractions has been launched.

Breckland launched the app in Thetford. Picture: Keith MindhamBreckland launched the app in Thetford. Picture: Keith Mindham

The Breckworld app will allow people to virtually explore towns like Thetford, Dereham, Swaffham and Watton along with the district’s best attractions, free days out and independent cafes.

Breckland District Council launched the app at Thetford’s Ancient House museum on Tuesday morningand the council believe the app is a world first.

Paul Claussen, curator at Ancient House Museum Oliver Bone, and William Nunn, leader of Breckland District Council launch Breckworld. Picture: Keith MindhamPaul Claussen, curator at Ancient House Museum Oliver Bone, and William Nunn, leader of Breckland District Council launch Breckworld. Picture: Keith Mindham

Featuring ultra-high definition 360 degree videos, some narrated by Stephen Fry, it brings together existing and newly developed technology into a single app.

It also gives people the opportunity to take part in a virtual treasure hunt which is designed to help families and visitors make the most of their visit while unlocking special offers along the way.

Stephen Fry will narrate some of the videos used in Breckworld. Picture: Matthew Usher.Stephen Fry will narrate some of the videos used in Breckworld. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The app includes more than 100 ‘virtual stars’ hidden across the district and discoverable using a map within Breckworld, with every 10 stars collected giving access to special offers from independent businesses.

Leader of Breckland District Council, William Nunn, said: “Breckworld enables residents and visitors to make an informed choice about where they’d like to visit by watching short 360 degree films of over 70 different local attractions from the comfort of their own homes.”

Swaffham town centre. PHOTO: IAN BURTSwaffham town centre. PHOTO: IAN BURT

Developed by the council in partnership with Dereham-based Viewing Online, run by Ryan Baxter, the idea was pitched by Mr Baxter as a way to help promote local attractions and businesses and was backed by the council as part of its Market Towns initiative.

Mr Baxter said: “There are some fantastic places to visit in Breckland and we wanted to show the world just how amazing Breckland really is.

Dereham High Street. Picture: Steve ShawDereham High Street. Picture: Steve Shaw

“In the app, our ‘virtual reality’ films showcase Breckland while ‘augmented reality’ technology provides entertainment through the treasure hunt and offers while you’re out exploring.

“We spent the summer filming towns, attractions and places of interest across Breckland and discovered places that we’d never heard of before, despite living in Dereham for years.

The Dad's Army museum based in Thetford could be one of the attractions you can explore in virtual reality.  PHOTO: Nick ButcherThe Dad's Army museum based in Thetford could be one of the attractions you can explore in virtual reality. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

“We hope people will use the app to plan great days out with their families and discover some brilliant places to visit and have fun.”

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